Stunned physicians, nurses, and staff of the 72-bed acute care Seventh-day Adventist Walla Walla General Hospital in Walla Walla, Washington, were notified at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. meetings on Monday that their parent organization, Adventist Health, had agreed to transfer their hospital and clinics to the control of the Roman Catholic Providence St. Mary’s Medical Center. Employees were notified that as of July 1, 2017, they would be employed by Providence St. Mary’s Medical Center. Continue reading
Catholic leaders from the United States and Rome are calling on the Trump administration to reconsider rollbacks of Obama-era environmental protections, warning that time may be running out to protect the planet from damage caused by pollution and carbon emissions.
President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order on Mar. 28 that, among other things, rescinds environmental regulations aimed at reducing power plant emissions by 32 percent by 2030.
Speaking to reporters this morning in Rome, one of the pope’s senior advisers urged Mr. Trump to listen to “dissenting” voices when it comes to the environment.
Cardinal Peter Turkson called the president’s backtracking on environmental commitments “a challenge for us.” The cardinal is prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and one of the architects of “Laudato Si’,” the pope’s encyclical on the environment.
“Fortunately, in the United States, there are dissenting voices, people who are against Trump’s positions,” Cardinal Turkson said.
“This, for us, is a sign that little by little, other positions and political voices will emerge and so we hope that Trump himself will reconsider some of his decisions,” the Ghana-born cardinal continued.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane, head of the US bishops’ committee on domestic justice, said in a statement on Mar. 30, “This Executive Order places a number of environmental protections in jeopardy and moves the U.S. away from a national carbon standard, all without adopting a sufficient plan for ensuring proper care for people and creation.”
This “action means that, sadly, the United States is unlikely to meet its domestic and international mitigation goals.”
The president said that protecting jobs in the coal industry must override environmental concerns, and he invited a group of coal industry employees to his signing ceremony. “We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country,” Mr. Trump said.
Bishop Dewane said in his statement that concern for economic growth must be balanced with care for the environment.
“The EPA Administrator has repeatedly stated that policies must be pro-growth and pro-environment,” he said. “An integral approach can respect human and natural concerns and still achieve these aims, if properly done.”
Bishop Dewane added, “Many states have already made great progress toward carbon mitigation goals under the CPP, and this momentum ought to be encouraged and not hindered.
“With this recent order, the administration risks damage to our air, our waters and, most importantly, our people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, without proposing a concrete and adequate approach to meet our stewardship obligations as a nation,” he concluded.
The head of a Catholic environmental organization also expressed disappointment in the president, saying in a statement that Mr. Trump’s actions “neither protect our common home nor promote the common good.”
“By rolling back current and proposed federal rules designed to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the power sector as well as discounting the social costs of fossil fuels, the Trump administration is jeopardizing not only the long-term sustainability of our planet, but the immediate health and well-being of those with the fewest resources: the poorest and most vulnerable people at home and abroad,” said Dan Misleh, head of theCatholic Climate Covenant.
In Rome Cardinal Turkson added that the Vatican is “very worried” that Mr. Trump’s proposed budget could lead to an increase in military spending while harming social justice programs and praised moves made by a U.S. rival when it comes to the environment.
“While Trump is moving in the opposite direction, there is another great power in the world, China, which is showing different signs, as if America is creating a vacuum that China is filling,” he said.
However, Cardinal Turkson said, “we are full of hope that things can change.”
Material from the Catholic News Service was used in this report.
South by Southwest (SXSW) is finally happening, and some of the biggest names in tech, music, media, and film have gathered in Austin, Texas for the event. Among the most unlikely guests, there is one that stands out: The Vatican.
The Vatican’s Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Bishop Paul Tighe, flew down to Austin for the weekend to attend the Interactive Conference of the nine-day festival and host a panel titled Compassionate Disruption. Continue reading
Answering to questions in the Anglican parish, Francis announces his intention to visit the African country at war together with the Archbishop of Canterbury
A one day journey to South Sudan, without spending the night in the country ravaged by war. An ecumenical journey similar to the one where Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew went to the Greek island of Lesbos to visit a refugee camp. This was announced by Bergoglio as he answered a question from an African seminarian during his visit to the Anglican parish in Rome Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Francis was talking about how ‘young Churches’, have a lot to teach us. He said: “Young Churches have more vitality and a strong need to work together. For example, I’m studying..my staff is studying the possibility of a trip to South Sudan. Why? Because the Anglican, the Presbyterian and the Catholic bishops have come to me and the three told me: “Please come to South Sudan, only for one day, but don’t come alone, come with Justin Welby,” that is with the Archbishop of Canterbury. From them, a young Church, came this creativity. And we’re thinking whether it is possible, the situation is so bad over there … But we must do it because they, the three together want peace, and they work together for peace … ” Bergoglio has pointed out how the ecumenical invitation came form leaders of the three main Christian confessions in South Sudan, who hope the presence of the Bishop of Rome and the Primate of the Anglican Communion can help pacification. Continue reading